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One of the attorneys on Donald Trump’s disturbing phone call Saturday demanding that Georgia “find” votes for him is working with an organization fighting to terminate democratic elections of U.S. senators.
Prominent conservative Republican lawyer Cleta Mitchell — a partner in the politically connected law firm Foley & Lardner — has been working with the American Legislative Exchange Council to challenge the results of the presidential election.
The powerful, corporate-funded right-wing organization that includes state legislators and lobbyists is also battling to change the Constitution to eliminate Senate elections. Under the ALEC strategy, senators would instead be named by their various state legislatures, where the Republican Party has worked for decades to increase its power and influence.
ALEC prepared a draft resolution in 2018 for state legislatures to call for the repeal of the 17th Amendment that required senators be chosen by voters.
Just over a year after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) won his first election, he spoke out in support of the strategy at an ALEC conference, saying in 2013 that he’d prefer it if state legislators, not voters, picked senators. Cruz is now leading the fight to challenge voters’ choice of President-elect Joe Biden.
ALEC has consistently worked to “undermine democracy by the majority,” ALEC expert and Columbia University assistant professor Alexander Hertel-Fernandez has told HuffPost. The organization is continually “seeking ways to control by a minority,” he said.
ALEC and Mitchell began last year preparing to challenge mail-in ballots for the presidential election only if Trump lost — long before the first vote was cast.